Speke Hall

Home Roads and cottages Jamaica Speke Maps Farming at Speke Farms Churches Speke School Lodges Speke Hall Police Links Miss Watt's letters Hunting On THe Estate

SPEKE HALL


1901 census
        Adelaide Watt                       Head            43            Living on own means               Lancs, Speke
        Ann Charlotte A Starkie    Cous             63            Living on own means               Yorks, Basingby
        Janet Maud F Steere             Vis                39             Living on own means              Yorks, Haisthorpe
        Eva Mabel Steele                   Vis                29            Living on own means              Yorks Bridlington
        Eliza Coates                           Sev                53            Ladies Maid domestic              Soemerset, Bath
        Agnes Dalzell                       Vis Serv       51             Ladies Maid domestic              Lancs, Woerston
        Ann Jane Wilshaw              Serv              36             Cook Housekeeper                     Hereford (N.K)
        Mary Thompson                  Serv               42             Housemaid                                  Cumb,Burgh by sands
        Sarah Smith                          Serv              20             Housemaid                                  Scotland
        Mary Croft                             Serv               19             Housemaid                                  Flint, Hawarden
        Grace Livermore                  Serv               19             Kitchen Maid                              London, hackney
        Alfred Wilshaw                   Serv               32             Butler                                             Ches, Romley
        Charles Fryer                        Serv               19             Toolman                                       York, Markington
        James Butler                          Serv               29             House Porter                               Nort, Peterbourgh                                         

1891census
       
Edward Codling                  Serv               40             Butler                                            North, Wallington
        Mary Thompson                  Serv               32             Housemaid                                 Cum, Longbourgh
        Alice Edgar                            Serv              19              Housemaid                                 Durh, Yarrow
        Violet Norris                         Serv               19             Scullery maid                              York, Buxton

Servants wages in 1882 (quarterly)                                £.d.p
Thomas Goodfellow                  groom                               6.5.0
Margaret Dunbavin                   3rd housemaid             2.10.0
Rose Booth                                    housemaid                    4.10.0 
Elizabeth Casswell                    scullery maid                3.10.0
Elizabeth Johnson                      kitchen maid                 5.0.0
Martha Worrall                           housemaid                    3.10.0
Joseph Maskrey                           footman                         6.10.0
Herbert Davis                               hall boy                        2.15.4
James Davis                                  Gardener                     13.15.0
Moses White                `               Gamekeeper                  13.0.0
Johnson                                          Coachman                   17.5.5
A Hitchmough                             Maid                              4.16.7
C. A. Freston                                 Butler                             20.0.0

1881 Census
Ellen Emma Wills             Serv            33             Cook And Housekeeper            Taunton, Som
Rosetta Booth                     Serv            22             Housemaid Domestic                 Doncaster, York,
Elizabeth Johnson            Serv            23             Kitchenmaid Domestic               Warter, York,
Martha Worrall                 Serv            19             Housemaid Domestic                 Speke, Lancashire,
Margaret Dunbavin         Serv            16             Housemaid Domestic                 Liverpool, Lanc
Elizabeth Caswell            Serv            19             Scullarymaid Domestic              Dudley, Stafford
Joseph Maskrey                 Serv            23             Footman Domestic                      Bradley, Derby,
Thomas Goodfellow        Serv            25             Groom Domestic                          Selkirk, Scotland
Herbert Davis                    Serv            17             Hall Boy Domestic                       Boyton, Wilts

1861Census
Richard Watt                      Head          25                                                               Childwall, Lancs
Adelaide Watt                    Wife            23                                                               Whitchurch, shrop
Adelaide Watt                    dau               3                                                                Childwall, Lanc
David Williams Evans     vis              28            Solicitor                                    Llansantffraid, Mont
Caroline McHam               Serv            41            House keeper                         Quorndon, Leices
Amos Leach                        Serv            43            Servant                                     St Marys, Chesh
Anne Jarman                      Serv            35            Ladysmaid                               Sneinton, Notts
Anne Bellamy                    Serv            22            Housemaid                              Sutton Coldfield,
Sarah Davies                      Serv            24            Housemaid                              Liverpool, Lancs
Anne Pascoe                      Serv            20            Kitchenmaid                            St Johns, Midd
Margaret Ellis                   Serv            25            Laundrymaid                          Ruthin, Denbigh
Emma Moyes                     Serv            24            Dairymaid                                Norwich, Norfolk
Anne Griffiths                   Serv            20            Scullerymaid                            Peserbue, Flint
Thomas Barton                 Serv            45            Butler                                           Corby, Warwick
Amos Stephenson            Serv            29            Footman                                     Derby, Derbyshire
John Hymock                     Serv            49            Footman                                     Picknale, Derby
John Simms                        Serv            22            Groom                                         Bristol, Gloucest
William Davies                 Serv            16            Servant                                       Liverpool, Lancs

1851census
Joseph Brereton Esqu                          Head            64            Merchant                     Little Budworth, C
Mathew James Glenton Esqu            Vis               61            Acountant                    Liverpool, Lancs
Thomas Ganett                                      Serv             28            Butler                            Wobern, Bedf
Pheby Garnell                                        Serv            34            Cook                              Marbury, Ches
Jane Meesley                                           Serv            37            House maid                 Prescot, Lancs
John Peel                                                  Serv            43            Game keeper                North Meols, Lanc

1841census
Joseph Brereton              54            Merchant             No
George Worrall               28            Groom                  Lancs
Edward Worrall             17            Vallet                    Lancs
Elizabeth Evans             31             Housekeeper     No
Ann Evans                      31            House maid        No
Soloman Strew               63            Gamekeeper       No

Rural Sanitary Authority

                                                                                    Prescot Sep. 29th 1874

Dear Sir,

            I notice you are making improvements to the cottages in Speke which I complained of sometime ago but the principle upon which you are working is not approved of by this authority. Ash closets are preferred to the open midden as being cleaner & quite as cheap but in a place like Speke will not be insisted upon. The middens however ought to be dry & frequently cleaned out and on no account must slops or water of any kind be thrown on to them they are better roofed on & open at the sides for ventilation. Proper provision must be made for slops quite distinct from the middens by drains & trapped grids.            I am Yours truly

                                                                                                Jno Twist

Extract from letter from 4/9/1874 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            Last Tuesday was the heaviest fall of rain I ever remembered and of course the old house suffered as the water could not be carried off quick enough and the court yard was flooded and the carpets in some of the lower rooms damaged. I sent down Ball to the rescue and he has undertaken with the assistance of Mr. Woodyer to set all right for £2.14.0.

I send a/c of wages this week which are high – viz.

Taylor                          6days               18.0                brought up                    4. 3.0.
Kay                                  do                  18.0                Garnett, Mason            1.16.0.
Prescot                            do                 1. 0.0                Lime                              1.  6.6.
Stockton                         do                   18.0                stones for smithy         2.18.6.
Thatcher’s boy               do                     9.0                Allowce  to men                     9
                                                                                                                               10.4.9
                                         Up               £4.3.0              Cartage                                2.6.

                                                                                                                             £10.7.3

Extract from letter from 3/7/1874 from Geo Whitley

Nuisances

            I am sorry to trouble you again so soon on this matter but it is really so pressing owing to the hot weather that it is unavoidable. I fear you have taken a wrong view of it as Tenants cannot be called upon to remedy defects which exist in the premises occupied by them and are the cause of many of the nuisances and can only be got quit of by an expensive system of drainage &c which must fall upon the Landlord                 Take for instance Cottages

No 6                Pig cote too near the house – open midden & cess pool in the                   Yard – no water supply, without drains.
No 7                Open cess pool in yard & without privy
No 8                No privy, deficiency of drains or other convenience for                               liquid sewage
No 9                Open, very wet & foul midden & cess pool, and a                                              dilapidated privy
No10               Open cess pool, wet midden in yard, no drains. Well in yard                 dangerously near to these nuisances and is most likely                           polluted thereon
No11               Large open and foul midden & cess pool, no drains.
No13)              Well in yard adjoining water not fit for cooking purposes,
No14)              probably arises from the grid & drains & the row of pig styes                close by

The whole of the cottages in this neighbourhood are badly supplied with water and many of the existing wells appear to be polluted through the imperfect and badly arranged sanitary conveniences.

How we are to overcome the want of water I cannot imagine but I think we shall be compelled at once to put the out buildings in such a state of repair and perfect the drainage that the tenants may be enabled to comply with the orders of the board and I will then take care that Mr. Woodyer shall see there is no neglect on their part of want of cleanliness. The water supply in Speke is becoming a serious question. Mr. Williams of the Dungeon works tells me he has sunk 100 feet deep and has not yet found water. Cartwright’s well is 30 feet deep and not supposed to be spring water.

Extract from letter from 1/7/1874 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

the improvements are on an extensive scale but were greatly wanted and I think your orders are being judiciously carried out. The Gardener pointed out to me the bad condition of the Court yard which must have early attention, he said the family are returning home the first week in August and it would be extremely unpleasant as all the bedroom doors open into the corridor and overlook the Court yard where the men would be at work and I told Woodyer to take them off the outside and put them on the yard which I hope will meet with your approbation, if not let me know.

Extract from letter from 23/6/1874 from Geo Whitley

Cottages at Speke – removal of nuisances

            The Philistines are upon us and we shall have the worst of the battle. I send four notices, which please return to me, that you may see the nature of the sanitary improvements required which cannot be avoided and will require much consideration. The supply of water is a question which cannot easily be overcome as I do not know from whence it is to be obtained. I shall be glad of your opinion before any directions are given. I also send a copy letter from the Inspector of Nuisances which you can retain. I have had a long conversation with Mr. Joynson on the subject and from my own knowledge of the property we can state that the description given by the Inspector is not exaggerated. If the examination extends to the whole Township we shall have much more to contend with.

Rural Sanitary Authority

                                                                                    Prescot, June 23rd 1874

Dear Sir,

            I enclose notices of nuisances existing near Speke Village on property belonging to Miss Watt for whom you are Agent & request your early attention to them.

            The Sanitary Authority recommend & direct that where practicable dry ash closets shall be substituted for the old open middens & in this part of Speke the system is peculiarly applicable it is cheap, convenient & cleanly & where the notices call for alterations should be adopted. I shall be glad to give you every information on the subject & you may see one at work at the Union Workhouse or by calling upon me here.

            I would also direct your attention to the water supply which ought to be remedied, for nearly all the existing wells to which the public have access appears to be polluted & I am not at all surprised this should be so from the close proximity to them of cesspools, middens, pig styes & other causes of pollution.

                                                                        Yours truly,

                                                                                    John Twist

Extract from letter from 23/12/1873 from Geo Whitley

Hollies in the Woods

            I have been much annoyed to find that these have been much damaged as usual although I have had our own men to assist in watching having been obliged temporarily to put on a few more hands fortunately we have captured 2 trespassers whom I intend to prosecute, if you see no objection, one is a Speke lad (about 16) and the other a Garston boy.

Extract from letter from 20/10/1873 from Geo Whitley

Gravel for the Hall drive

            I have ordered Richard Sutton to attend to this, it will take many loads.

Extract from letter from 14/10/1873 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

Mrs. Leyland has informed me that the gravel for the carriage drive which was promised to her has not been furnished & the road being now in a very bad state she asks to have it done. The gardener says there is plenty of gravel on the shore under the Home farm. Must I order Richd. Sutton to cart it up? The roof of the Hall & some of the buildings wants examination.

Tarpaulin for the Fire Engine

            I have ordered one as they say it is taking harm without a covering.

Extract from letter from 19/8/1873 from Geo Whitley

            Some of the Plaister on the outside has come off and Mr. Leyland sent me word it ought to be repaired. Wainwright was working for him and I asked for an estimate but was told it could not be furnished for such a job. I was therefore under the necessity of ordering the work to be done but stipulated that it should on no account exceed £5.

The weather here has become broken and much against the harvest, there being now much corn down

Extract from letter from 1/4/1873 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            You recollect the field, occupied by Mr. Leyland adjoining the wood, the rails are all rotten and many of them fallen down and the cattle can have access to the lawn in front of the Drawing room by trespassing in the wood, the length of the fence is about 200 yards and we should consequently want 600 rails and posts, these, Richd. Sutton tells me, may be procured from a number of oak trees in the “Coney tree wood” which are fast decaying and are valueless for any other purpose. What must be done?

Extract from letter from 3/12/1872 from Geo Whitley

          I had no other communication than those of which I sent you copies, with the exception of a call from Richd. Atherton to the same friendly effect.

            Mr. Hewson and myself had both invitations to the dinner, which under present circumstances, I would willingly have avoided, but could not - however, every thing passed off pleasantly and although observations as to the serious aspect of affairs were of course made the Tenants seemed quite satisfied with the treatment they had received.

            James Cartwright, as the mouthpiece of the Tenants proposed the healths of Miss Watt & Mr. Sprot & requested I would convey to them their thanks for the kind consideration shewn to them – so far so good, and I trust they will have a better harvest next year and be able to make up some of the losses of this. The rents, as reduced, were punctually paid with a trifling exception which will be paid in the course of the week.

Extract from letter from 28/11/1872 from Geo Whitley

Speke rents

            After such consideration I determined to offer a reduction of £10 p.c. for the year payable by two instalments and apprized all the Farm Tenants by letter, giving them time for consideration.

This has produced two very satisfactory letters, copies of which I send, and hope to be favoured with others of a similar nature.

Extract from letter from 22/11/1872 from Geo Whitley

Speke rents

            I have made numerous enquiries on this momentous question but with little satisfaction but this morning I had the opportunity of an interview with Lord Derby’s Agent (private) & he told me that no alteration in his Lordship’s rental had been made for many years and the rents were low and consequently the Tenants had not made any claim for a reduction. His opinion was that where the rents had been raised, as in case of Speke, the Tenants might, under the present disastrous circumstances ask for a moderate reduction on the half years rent with an intimation that it was not to be drawn into a precedent. I therefore think that an offer of £10 p.c. might be offered and shall be glad to know if this meets with your approbation. The weather here has not improved and there is still a great quantity of land remaining unploughed.

            We have large importations of potatoes, of foreign potatoes, which are highly spoken of, would you like to try them?

Extract from letter from 28/9/1872 from Geo Whitley

Mr. Leyland’s gate

            This is at the bottom of the wood on the road leading from the Hall to the shore (near the old boat house) and cannot be done away with as gravel, sand &c has to be carted from the shore for the use of the grounds &c. Crosby has examined it and states that it is so rotten that it cannot be mended, & recommends a new gate of split oak something in the following shape which will be quite good enough.

Extract from letter 18/9/1872 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            When Mr. S was at Speke he saw Mr. Leyland who complained that the gate at the bottom of the Plantation was completely done and would not shut and asked for it to be repaired, it can be of little consequence as the road is not of course much used and there is a small gate for foot passengers, but I will get Crosby to look at it & report to me.

Extract from letter from 31/7/1872 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

On Friday afternoon on my arrival at home I found a letter from Mr. Leyland of which the following is a copy:  “Speke Hall, 26 July 1872

Dr. Sir, Owing to some defect in the roof or outside walls the rain comes into the drawing room, and of late so badly that if the defect is not remedied I fear the beautiful ceiling will be seriously injured if not destroyed. Ball says he has reported this to Mr. Shelmerdine but has received no             orders and I therefore think it is my duty to tell you of it. The drains in the court yard also want something done to them, for the whole basement floor of the house has been flooded four times    within the last few weeks. I would also mention that the outside of the laundry is in a very dilapidated condition for want of painting”

This letter alarmed me as on the next day (Saturday) I knew it was impossible to get any work done & I was therefore compelled to wait until Monday when I sent Mr. Shelmerdine as early as possible to examine and report and desired him to take Ball with him and I enclose a copy of his report which has completely relieved my mind as to the ceiling, he made a most particular examination and could not find the slightest trace of injury by water, or otherwise, the floor of the drawing room being on the same level as the ground outside will require attention. The housekeeper must have made a mistake and Mr. Shelmerdine was not previously spoken to on the subject by Ball who also made a mistake. I shall be glad to hear from you after you have read the report and to take your directions thereon. Hay harvest here still very bad and the potato disease creating great uneasiness

Speke Hall

July 30th 1872

1.         I have very carefully examined the drawing room ceiling, the housekeeper, who complained to Mrs. Leyland about the water dropping therefrom, being present. - I could not discover where the ceiling, or the cornice, or any part near it was in the slightest degree damaged, or even stained by water or any thing else as she reported. I also examined the outside but in consequence of the large quantity of ivy found it impossible to discover any thing, to carry on the search successfully it will be necessary to cut the ivy close (which is now wanted badly) and fill in with hair mortar & point with mastic & oil, the open and exposed joist of the wood work.

The small porch communicating with the drawing room referred to, has the walls and ceilings very damp indeed, and something should be done at once to remedy this, as the floor is on the same level as the drawing room which also, is a level with the ground outside, so that any heavy shower beating against the porch is only kept out by a door mat inside of the porch. I think a 6 inch agricultural drain pipe communicating with some adjoining drain might be so constructed to answer the drainage purpose required.

2.         The Court Yard which of late has been flooded by the very heavy thunderstorms can be remedied by having the outlet drainage altered in a portion of the yard by substituting 9 inch pipes for the present 4 inch.

3.             Certain portions of the outside of the laundry complained of by Mr. Leyland require plastering and pointing, other parts staining and colouring. This cannot be estimated for with any amount of accuracy and I would recommend it be done by day work. The workmen to repair such parts only as they are directed so as not to make their work too great a contrast with the other portions of the building.

                                                                        Thomas Shelmerdine

Extract from letter 17/7/1872 from Geo Whitley

Agricultural labour, Speke

            I cannot reconcile James Cartwright & his two men to the proposed rate of wages and therefore I suppose the latter must quit their cottages on the 2nd August next which will I fear create quite a sensation in the Township.

To Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the County Palatine of Lancaster in the Petty Sessions assembled at Woolton.

                                                            The Memorial of the undersigned                                                                             Landowners and inhabitants of Speke,                                                              Allerton, Garston and the Neighbourhood

Sheweth

            That your Memorialists have observed that an application has been made to you for a licence for the erection of a Magazine for the storage of Gunpowder at Hale.

            Your Memorialists would respectfully point out to the Justices the extreme danger of such a Magazine to property in the neighbourhood.

            Your Memorialists wish further to draw the attention of the Justices to the fact that in the year 1857 in consequence of the public outcry against the powder Magazines at Liscard, & after a government enquiry an Act (14 & 15 Vic. Cap. 67) was passed by which those Magazines were done away with and provision made for the establishment of floating Magazines as the only safe mode of storing Gunpowder in the River Mersey.

            That by the said Act the Lord High Admiral or the Commissioners for executing that office with the approval of the Master General of Her Majesty’s Ordnance and the Commissioners for the Conservancy of the River Mersey are authorized to appoint suitable places on the River Mersey for the mooring of Vessels in which Gunpowder may be stored. That properly constructed vessels have been built and the same are subject to very stringent regulations & to a periodical inspection by an officer appointed by the Master General of the Ordnance.

            That your Memorialists are informed and believe that such Magazines are amply sufficient for the wants of the trade of the Port and that if the existing vessels

should not be sufficient any suitable person may apply for and obtain permission to moor other properly constructed vessels on the River for the like purpose.

            Your Memorialists submit that the establishment of a Magazine for the storage of Gunpowder on the shores of the Mersey is contrary to this Act of parliament which was passed after careful investigation with reference to the storage of Gunpowder in and near that River.

            Your Memorialists further draw the attention of the Justices to the fact that the storing of an unlimited quantity of gunpowder in one place and especially in land is fraught with very great danger to life and property & that it will tend greatly to reduce the value of property for many miles round.

            Your Memorialists are informed that the application for a licence is made for the purpose of private speculation and that no public necessity has been or can be proved for the erection of a Magazine on the site proposed and your Memorialists respectfully urge that their property ought not to be subject to serious risk and thereby depreciated in value for the profit of any individual.

            Your Memorialists therefore request that the application for a licence for the erection of a Gunpowder Magazine at Hale may be refused & that they may be heard in opposition thereto

Jno. G. Morris
Fred R Leyland
Alfred Fletcher
Joseph Leather
Chas. Myers
L’pool & Garston Steel & Iron Co          per J. G. Morris
Thos. Brocklebank
For Co. trustee & self of the late R. Watt Esq. for the Township of Speke.

ON REVERSE:-

21 June 1872

Proposed Gunpowder

Magazine at Hale

Copy

Memorial of Land

Owners at Speke &c

For Mr. Sprot

Newspaper Cutting

  1. from the Liverpool Courier. 22 June 1872

THE PROJECTED GUNPOWDER

MAGAZINE AT HALE

            As might have been expected, the proposal to establish a gunpowder magazine on the banks of the Mersey at Hale has not met with approval. Though people in this neighbourhood are willing enough to encourage trade, and loth to throw obstacles in the way of a project promising to add to the business of the locality, they think that even money-making should not be conducted to the jeopardy of their lives and property. It may be false timidity that induced opposition to the scheme for storing twenty tons of gunpowder convenient to the MEREDITH vineries; but to us it does not appear unnatural that the residents should deprecate being placed in danger merely to profit Mr. JOHN SHARP or the Mersey Gunpowder Storage Company. The spot may have been intended by Nature for the purpose of storing explosives, as suggested by Mr. LUPTON, but neighbours are unwilling to accept the intention as binding on them. People in this district have a lively recollection of the Lotty Sleigh, and the consequences which attended the blowing up of that vessel; and they may well be pardoned for feeling a little timorous at a proposal to place a huge magazine close to their doors. When the application of Mr. SHARPE was renewed at Woolton Sessions yesterday, evidence in favour and against the granting of a licence was given; and it must be said that the magistrates had good grounds for the decision at which they arrived. The necessity for such a magazine as that contemplated by the embryo company is not at all evident from the testimony submitted to the court, while the disfavour in which the project is held in the neighbourhood is beyond question. “The site is a most convenient one” says Mr. LUPTON. So it may be for the gunpowder dealers who propose to use it; but fortunately for the public safety the law takes cognizance of other matters than the profitableness of a speculation. It was urged that virtual monopolists interfered with the safe mooring of Mr. SHARPE’S gunpowder; but the way to correct this obstruction is not by imperilling life and property at Hale. A floating magazine would, we are told, be too expensive to carry out. Surely expense should not be weighed against safety. Plausible as the story of the applicant may be, it is absurd to rely on an embankment for immunity from disaster. The calamities which have happened in various parts of the country have shown that stores of explosives are liable to accident even with the most perfect arrangements and most careful supervision; and we cannot suppose that the applicant for a licence to store powder will guarantee there shall be no explosion. If twenty tons of powder collected at the site named were to explode, the consequences would be disastrous. The natural embankment on which so much reliance is placed would prove but a slight safeguard against widespread ruin, and the possible proximity of people adds to the danger of the experiment. Even Mr. G. M. WILLIAMS, who has works within a quarter of a mile of the site, and who gave evidence in favour of the licence, says he “would not like to go to heaven on twenty tons of gunpowder” Mr. BLACKBURNE’S steward thinks that if there were an explosion, the damage would be “very slight indeed”. Altogether, however, the evidence proved the danger to the district was greatly in excess of prospective advantages; and the magistrates were wise in refusing the application. For this result we may take some credit ourselves; but for our warning to residents in the district the scheme might have been successful, and they would have remained in happy ignorance till the project was accomplished.

Newspaper Cutting

2 from the Liverpool Mercury 22nd June 1872

WOOLTON SESSIONS

BEFORE MESSRS. R NEILSON, S. J. STEERS, H.GASKELL

AND LIEUT.-COLONEL TRIMBLE

THE PROPOSED GUNPOWDER STORE AT HALE

            An application, adjourned from the previous sessions, was made by Mr. Lupton on behalf of Mr. J. G. Sharpe, of London, for a licence to erect a building for the storage of gunpowder at a place called Dungeon, on the banks of the Mersey at Hale. Mr. Garnett appeared to oppose the application on behalf of the Local Garston Board and for the London and North-Western Railway Company; Mr. Bateson for Mr. Whitley, as representing the owners of property at Speke; and Mr. Walter Pierce, for inhabitants of Garston. A long discussion took place between the legal advocates as to the validity of the preliminary notices, posted as required by the act of Parliament, the contention being that sufficient notice of the application had not been given and that a further adjournment was necessary. The bench ultimately decided that the notices were sufficient and the case must proceed. Mr. Lupton, as he had done on the previous application, urged various grounds in support of it, amongst which were the eligibility of the site, freedom from any liability to danger, and that it was sanctioned by the owner of the property, Mr. J. I. Blackburne. Plans of the proposed building were then submitted for the inspection of the bench, and it was explained that it was a considerable distance from any dwelling house, and that every precaution would be adopted to prevent the possibility of danger, no iron being used in the construction of the building. A witness, Mr. Gittens, explained the general character of the project, and answered several questions by the bench. On cross-examination by Mr. Garnett, the witness stated that the application was for the Mersey Gunpowder Storage Company. They were not at present manufacturers of gunpowder, but they contemplated it. The company was only in course of formation. Mr. Sharpe, a gunpowder manufacturer, who has mills near Epsom, was a member of the company. The licence was intended for the company and Mr. Sharpe’s private use, and it might be made available for the company if the arrangements were entered into. In further cross-examination, he said that Mr. Sharpe, himself, and Dr. Wilson of Claughton, were three members of the company. These were the only three he could give at present. In reply to questions by Mr. Bateson, the witness said that Sharpe applied for a licence for a magazine across the river, and that he had sold it for a considerable sum of money. He had been connected with Sharpe. They made a few cartridges, and witness was brought before the magistrates at Birkenhead for making them. He did not know that Sharpe had had some explosions at his premises. Mr. Pierce then cross-examined the witness, and elicited from him that Sharpe had an office in London, but he was not aware of his having been in difficulties in 1865. Mr. Lupton remarked that the application was bona fide on the part of Mr. Sharpe. - The witness Gittens explained that the gunpowder would be shipped in covered boats, under the regulations of the Mersey Dock Board. The company could not have a floating magazine, as he believed such an application would not be granted. It was stated that one reason for the application was that Mr. Sharpe found difficulty in getting his gunpowder stored in Liverpool, owing to a monopoly enjoyed by another company. Mr. G. M. Williams, proprietor of the concrete works at Hale, which he said were less than a quarter of a mile from the proposed magazine, considered the site as safe a one as could be selected, though since he came into court his views were somewhat altered when he found that instead of five tons it was 20 tons of gunpowder. Mr. Bateson, said there was nothing to prevent the applicant storing an unlimited quantity if he chose to do so. Mr. John White, steward to Mr. J. I. Blackburne considered the sit a suitable one for a powder magazine. Mr. Bateson, on behalf of Mr. Whitley, presented a memorial signed by a number of gentlemen in the neighbourhood of Speke, Garston &c. The signatures included those of Mr. Whitley, Mr. J. G. Morris, Allerton Priory; Mr. Leyland, Speke Hall; and Mr. Myers of Woolton. The advocate urged the danger to property of such a magazine as that projected; that floating magazines were the only safe mode of gunpowder storage; and that such an establish-ment was contrary to the act of Parliament. It appeared to him to partake more of the character of a private speculation than anything else, and he hoped the bench would refuse the application. Mr. Pierce also presented an opposition memorial similar to the previous one, from inhabitants of Garston, many of the farmers having land there. Amongst the signatures was that of Mr. J. Meredith, the vine grower, who believed that in the event of an explosion the whole of his glass would be destroyed, valued at some thousands of pounds. He contended that property would be depreciated, and, as the project was an entirely speculative one, he saw no reason to encourage it. Mr. Garnett considered that to grant such an application would be reversing the decision of the legislature, and was not within the spirit of the act. Besides, the application was not from a manufacturer of gunpowder at all. He protested against the application on behalf of the local board of Garston and the ratepayers of the district. Mr. Lupton replied, and repudiated the uncalled for remarks which had been throw out against Mr. Sharpe, who was a man of high character and reputation. The Chairman of the bench (Mr. Neilson) assured Mr. Lupton that they would not take the slightest notice of the remarks referred to. In continuation, Mr. Lupton again urged that the site was a suitable one, that the application was bona fide, and that no evidence has been adduced to rebut the case he had opened in support of the application. The bench considered after that what they had heard they would not be justified in granting the application. Mr. Lupton asked for the reasons upon which the decision was grounded; and a negative reply being given, he intimated that he should apply to the Secretary of State.

2 April 1872

Dear Sir,

Strike at Speke

            There does not seem any chance of an amicable arrangement and it is now becoming serious as the Farmers are literally without labourers, teamsters in particular, I had a Deputation this morning and I have promised, with your approbation, to give a few of the most prominent of the opportunists who have left their work and sought employment at Garston, notice to quit as it is not to be borne that they should be allowed to work in one Township where wages are high and come to reside in another where rents are low. By way of experiment I therefore send for your signature, notices to 5 Tenants to quit as they will look more formal with it.

            Ashcroft works for Mrs. Byron
         Williams at Garston generally, for anyone
        John Wyke for James Cartwright
         Richard Wyle     do         do
        Edwd. Wyke for Mawdsley

As the cottages are vacated they will be given up to the Tenants (Farmers) and incorporated with their several holdings. They have long asked for this boon as they have no control over their workmen without it.

            I have to ask for your indulgence in again postponing your proposed visit to or any day, after the 13th inst. as the marriage I spoke of

has been postponed to that day and I have not yet been enabled to complete my share of the necessary preparations. So far however you are perhaps lucky in being where you are as the weather here has been one uninterrupted succession of wet days and the country is quite inundated.

Mrs. Hewson still continues unwell & has gone to the sea side with her family

                                                                        I am Dear Sir,
                                                                          Yrs faithfully,
                                                                     Geo. Whitley

Extract from letter from 27/3/1872 from Geo Whitley

Repairs at the Hall

            Lunt said that although the job was an awkward one to estimate for, he had no objection to do so and I therefore desired him to let me have one of which I enclose a copy, it is a large sum (£28) but the repairs of an old house are never satisfactory.

Garston, 26th March 1872

Sir,

            I beg leave to submit a tender for the following work required to be done according to your instructions at Speke Hall, remove the fixtures in Butlers pantry, take up the present floor excavate out the soil to the depth of 18in. build sleeper walls to carry red deal joists 4½ x 3 to be covered with 1 pitch pine narrow floor boards Tongued, Grooved and Stored & clean dressed off, repair & refix fixtures leaving all complete, provide & fix 2 Cast iron ventilators let into stone to secure proper ventilation under floor each 2ft x 1ft. provide & fix Ogee Iron spouting with down spouts outside of Butlers pantry window, connect the same to drain with pipes – take up room floor over Butlers pantry level up joists on top with scantling lay the floor with 1in pitch pine floor boards. Square jointed stoved & clean dressed off, fix 7 moulded skirting round this room painted 3 coats, the whole of the work herein described to be left complete and to your satisfaction for the sum of Twenty eight pounds £28.0.0.

                                                                        Yours respectfully,
                                                                      John Lunt

To Thomas Shelmerdine Esq.

Strike at Spek

            The announcement in this mornings Liverpool paper is:

The farm labourers at Speke

            “A correspondent informs us that our information as to the  demands of the Farm Labourers – teamsters 24/- and labourers 20/-      a week – was not correct in the figures. The teamsters want 20/- &  the labourers 18/-. It is untrue that they want the nine hour system. Some of the farmers have already granted terms”

I have not heard that the Farmers have come to this understanding, on the contrary Mrs. Mawdsley this morning told me that they had only 1 labourer on the estate, an Irishman, and that her husband was obliged to turn out and work himself. I hope however both parties may yet come to terms.

I enclose a                                                                   Liverpool

cutting from                                                                    26th March 1872

a Liverpool     

paper from some                                                   

unfriendly hand

in the Township

whom I know not

Dear Sir,

The Strike at Speke

            I attended the meeting of the Farm tenants at the school on the 20th instant and they came to a resolution to offer the Labourers the following terms, 16/-, 17/- and 18/- p.week according to their deserts, with the allowances which have always been made to them viz.

sufficient land for the growth of potatoes for the family, Straw for the pigs, Cartage of coal, full time without deduction.

            I have waited a few days to enable me to report to you the result, this has been quite unfavourable, much higher wages being demanded and the consequence has been a turn out of those in the better class who have ordered their inferiors, to cease work which has therefore very generally come to a stand still though many men would not willingly leave their employ.

            At the meeting I promised, which I hope with your approbation, the Farmers that all their men having cottages, leaving their present employment and going to work at Garston & elsewhere should have notice to quit. I must say I am not surprized at the decisions as there appears to be a similar feeling throughout the country. I am glad to find we shall have the opportunity of seeing you soon and will therefore leave other matters to rest until we meet.

            I have some particular engagements until after the 6th April next which may possibly necessitate my absence from home for a few days but after that day shall be at liberty to attend you for any length of time you may wish

                                                                 I am Dear Sir
                                                                    Yrs faithfully
                                                                            Geo. Whitley

James Sprot Esqre.

(Cutting enclose from Liverpool Mercury. 25th March 1872)

The spelling is as it appears in the paper.

WORK AND WAGES

KIRKALDY

The Kirkaldy strike in the floorcloth trade continues. The men have, however, asked for a conference.

THE SHEFFIELD BOOTMAKERS

            The Sheffield boot and shoe workmen have generally obtained an advance of wages from 15 to 20 per cent, and the masters have intimated a corresponding rise in the price of boots. The hands employed by several large firms have struck, an advance being refused.

FARM SERVANTS IN SPEKE

                                                                                    Liverpool, March 23rd

Sir, - The farm servants in the Township of Speke as struck work for, team man for 24s per week, and farm lorberer 20s per week, and haff want the 9 hours movment. when i asked my marster last night he said he could not for the Land Lord had raised the rents to 6 pounds and acre, so i want to know hare we to suffer for the landlords extravagrance. it is like the parson said last Sunday, he reaps where he never sowed. Please put this in your papr – I am your obediently servant.

                                                                                    A WORKMAN

Put it right spellin and grammar as i am no scolar

Extract from letter from 16/3/1872 from Geo Whitley

First & most important

            The drain from the Hall to the shore. This nuisance which we inspected the whole distance has not been overstated, it is very well cleared out and two thirds of the distance there being a good stream of water through, it is free from smell but at its junction with the main drain it is very offensive and must in some way be rectified. I send herewith the report of Mr. Shelmerdine.

The Hall

            The repairs referred to in the report are quite necessary, the floor in the maid’s room is so thoroughly worn out that you can scarcely walk across it and it has been protected by a double carpet.

The Estate generally

            There is, I much regret to say, a very uncomfortable feeling sprung up owing to the Agricultural population imitating the present times having made an unmistakeable movement for a rise in wages and shorter hours having already held a meeting on the subject. I had this morning a Deputation from some of the principal Tenants to explain how matters stood and to ask me to attend a proposed meeting to be held by them (not of the Labourers also) on Wednesday next at the school room. I explained to them that I thought as it was a meeting of their own class, I was better away but as they would not hear of it I was obliged, unwillingly, to consent. I will write again in a few days and give you a report of further proceedings

Extract from letter from 20/2/1872 from Geo Whitley

The Hall drainage

            Mr. Shelmerdine is at present in London but on his return in a few days he shall make a thorough examination.

Extract from letter from 15/2/1872 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            I met Mr. Leyland and his family & a lot of dependants this morning at the Speke station departing for London for the season, tho’ early, as they are anxious to leave the house having had one death and 2 cases of Diphtheria, he complains much of the water course through the wood which he says is a nuisance and ought to be remedied immediately by cleaning it out and covering it up. Meredith happened to be present and I gave directions to inspect it and make a report to me without delay.

Extract from letter 30/12/1871from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            I am sorry to say a young Lady (Miss Gee) who was staying there died a few days since in the house of Diptheria after a few days illness & the Butler is now ill of the same complaint.

Extract from letter from 2/10/1871 from Geo Whitley

Drainage at the Hall

            I also send report and estimate and Mrs. Leyland was naturally so urgent for the abatement of the nuisance that I thought it better to give directions to Peters & Ball to do the necessary repairs at the estimated cost of £4.12.6.

Extract from letter 7/1/1871 from Geo Whitley

 The Hall

            I have seen Mr. Leyland and I think he has made up his mind to take the Home Farm if we do not deal with Cartwright which with his requirements it is not probable we shall do – he (Cartwright) I hear has had £1000 left to him by a relation.

Extract from letter 13/12/1870 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            At the rent day I saw Mr. Leyland’s new six stall stable which is as complete & nicely fitted up as you could desire and will be a great accommodation where such stud is kept

Extract from letter from 2/8/1869 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall – storewall drain pipes to remove nuisance

Extract from letter from 6/2/1869 from Geo Whitley

                                              The Hall

            I had an alarming report a few days since that in consequence of the long continued fall of rain the Courtyard was flooded & the water could not be got off – but fortunately they sent for Peters & Ball who afforded temporary relief & I sent over Mr. Shelmerdine who ordered a new system of draining with layer pipes at the estimated cost of £9 only & he thinks the like will not occur again.

Extract from letter from 5/2/1868 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            The Tenant is really doing wonders, the blue drawing room furniture is removed & new to be substituted, ceiling now painted & wall covered with grey satin fluted, they say it formerly looked like a French plum box, all the rooms are occupied and Mr. L has bought a valuable collection of pictures by Turner and others, the new Billiard room is nearly finished. Keeps seven horses and is very popular with his neighbours, excuse this chat.

            We have here a succession of tremendous gales which are not yet over and seem to have affected all parts of the country. Meredith called on me this morning & I am happy to find the Speke estate has suffered very little, Byron’s farm most but that not much of a consequence. The Hall for which I feared has received no real damage the wind being altogether from the N & NW from which the house is well sheltered by the Plantations

Mr. Leyland asked Meredith a few days since if he had heard anything about the Lodges

Extract from letter from 11/12/1867 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            I hear very good accounts of the Tenant. I am glad that he likes the house; he has given directions to Ball to restore the old Kitchen as a Billiard room. The design for the 2 Lodges are in preparation.

Extract from letter from 19/11/1867 from Geo Whitley

                                                                      28 Old Bond Street W

                                                                                    12th Nov. 1867

Dear Sir,

Speke Hall

            We are in receipt of your letter of the 8th instant and in reply beg to say

  1. That our Mr. Green had the entry as to the terms agreed upon with Mr. Sprot for our going down to Speke Hall made immediately after Mr. Sprot left our offices and he is quite sure that the charges made by us are in accordance with the terms then agreed and we put it to you, as a professional man, whether it is at all likely that we should consent to travel upwards of 400 miles for less than nothing
  1. Previously to our writing to you on the 1st  inst. for our own satisfaction we made enquiry of the leading firms in our business as to the fairness of our charge and we were advised by one and all that we were entitled to charge 5 per cent on one years rental, and your remarks have not at all weakened our impression of the justness of this advice, as it is only a supposition on your part that Mr. Leyland was aware of the place being to let previously to the appearance of our advertisement

We have now laid the case in all its bearings before you, it is not our custom to litigate disputed claims, unless they amount to a large sum, and can only say that we must leave it to Mr. Sprot and Yourself to pay us such an amount as you may consider fair under the circumstances

                                                                        We remain Dear Sir,
                                                                         Yours faithfully
                                                                            For Messrs Gree
n
                                                                               T.G.

Extract from letter from 19/11/1867 from Geo Whitley

Mr. Green’s account

            I send a copy of Mr. G’s further explanation, he does not choose to divest himself of the idea that Mr. Leyland was attracted by any other advert than his own and as to consulting others in the same line as himself is merely a farce, however I perfectly agree with you that we had better at once make a compromise, what do you think of 30 Guineas?

            Say costs out of pocket                                     20.19.6.
        Charges extra                                                   10.10.6.
                                                                                      £31.10.0.

I also send copies of the prior correspondence which you may wish to see before giving your determination & which there is no occasion to return.

Extract from letter from 5/11/1867 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall

            I enclose copy letter from Messrs. Green which does them little credit by way of explanation, their argument as to Mr. Leyland becoming acquainted with the proposed letting through their means being simply absurd. I send a copy of my intended reply which if you approve of I will forward. I fear we shall be obliged to compromise as I know several exactly similar cases most unjustly decided in favour of the claimants. On dissecting the bill if would stand as follows:

Expenses out of Pocket                                             20.19.6.
Charge as agreed on)
With yourself          )           5. 6.0.
Commission at 2½ p.c.)
Claimed by Messrs. G )            8.15.0.
Claimed by Messrs G                                             14. 0. 0
                                                                                 £34.19.6.

there are also 3 other items in the bill which have not been filled up

            I would not have objected to their Bill if they had done any work but except a few attendances they literally did nothing.

            The expenses of the journey to Speke (£5.6.0) ought I think as costs out of pocket to be fairly allowed

                                                          28 Old Bond Street W

                                                                        1 November 1867

Dear Sir,

Speke Hall

            We duly received your letter of the 25th ult.

            Mr. Sprot is under a misapprehension in supposing that we agreed to go down to Speke Hall for 5gns. & to include in that sum our expenses. You will perceive by our account that our Mr. Green’s travelling and hotel expenses come to more than that sum. When we saw Mr. Sprot in the first instance on the 2nd July last we entered his instructions in our day book and the following is an extract from the entry – “to go down & take particulars agreed that our charge for so doing should be 5 Guineas & expenses”.

            The advertisements are long and are only the usual price we condensed the form as much as we could so as to do justice to the property & the draft was approved by you previous to insertion.

            With reference to the Commission we beg to observe that we are strictly entitled to our full percentage on one year’s rental, the place was advertised by name in the “Times” & Local papers & Mr. Leyland a local gentleman no doubt saw the advertisement being on the spot it saved time for him to view the Hall at once instead of writing to us for an order, on the premises he would ascertain that you were one of the Trustees, and being in the same town it would be less trouble to him to treat with you a principal than to negotiate thro’ us, we laid the foundations for letting & we did all the work except the agreement & had we carried this through our additional trouble would have been very little more than it has been, as our agreements are printed a form of which we herewith enclose.

            In consideration of your having carried out the agreement when we forwarded our account we met the case in a liberal spirit & only charged one half of the amount of Commission we are actually entitled to

            Trusting this explanation will be satisfactory to Mr. Sprot and yourself

                                                                        We remain Dear Sir
                                                                        Yrs. faithfully
                                                                           For Messrs Gree
n
                                                                                 T.G.

Copy letter to Messrs Green

                                                                        Liverpool

                                                                         8 Nov 1867

Speke Hall

          I am in receipt of your letter of the 1st instant a copy of which I have forwarded to Mr. Sprot & on which I have to make the following observations:

1.         Mr. S on his return from London informed me that your charge for coming down to Speke was to be 5gns without reference to expenses
2.         As to the advertisements no question arises on these items.
3.        Commission. Your argument on this point is founded on wrong premises & entirely fallacious. The Hall had been advertised to be let for at least 14 or 16 months prior to Mr. Sprot’s interview with you in the London Midland Counties. Lancashire, Cheshire and other papers and by circular, in fact every possible publicity was given to it & in consequence numerous applications were made to us & several negotiations took place on the subject. That Mr. Leyland was at this time cognizant of the proposed letting is pretty certain as he had I believe a wish to take the place soon after it was advertised but declined doing so in consequence of the objections of some of his family. I cannot therefore admit that you “laid the foundation for
the letting & did all the work except the agreement”, & as to the  form of the printed agreement sent it would have been perfectly valueless in this case & could not have been adopted being applicable solely to a furnished Town house.

            Under these circumstances I submit that your claim to commission cannot be sustained.

                                                                                    I am &c G.W

            Since writing the above I have this morning received a letter from Mr. Sprot who says “I am quite sure the 5 guineas as agreed was to include every thing connected with his (that is your own) journey to Speke for I recollect naming the Railway fare there and back and had it exceeded the 5 guineas would not have consented to his going”

Extract from letter from 30/10/1867 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            Mr. Leyland has had scarcely any but extremely wet weather since the commencement of his tenancy but Meredith informs me he is quite satisfied with his bargain which I am glad of, he also says he has purchased a pair of carriage horses for which he has given £200 –each, this however is rather dubious. The servant women (Mr. Watts’) have left and been settled with. Barton is assisting to put the matters right and therefore has not yet called. The Housemaid told me the family intend always to dine in the Hall, to use the small dining room as a schoolroom, to furnish the blue drawing room with their own furniture, to order a new carpet for the large bedroom, to remove the Pianos upstairs and substitute their own, & she had heard that Mr. L wished to have taken the house as soon as it was let but that Mrs. L then objected. Meredith said Mr. L had stated he would build one lodge if you would erect another.

Extract from letter from 19/10/1867 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall

            I deferred writing to you until I had finally arranged with Mr. Leyland, he took possession on the 16th inst. and he and his family slept there that night. The old servant woman who has left, told me yesterday that some of the lower portions of the house were, owing to the extremely wet weather which we have lately had, very damp. The Auctioneers delayed me in not having the inventories ready as early as they ought to have been but they are now signed & every thing is settled.

Extract from letter from 11/9/1867 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall

            I have this week an application to take & and apparently the most promising offer since our unfortunate dealing with Mr. Daunt.

            The gentleman is Mr. F. R. Leyland a partner in the firm of Bibby & Co here who are largely connected in the Mediterranean trade and owners of a splendid fleet of Steamers, several of the Bibby’s are connected with the copper works at Garston and elsewhere but Mr. L has no share in them his business being confined to the shipping department of which he is the sole Manager. He is now living in Falkner Square in Liverpool and being obliged to leave his house has taken a fancy to Speke, he is an admirer of antiques and has a very fine collection of old silver plate which would accord with the house. I have only seen his Agent and from what he says Mr. L’s requisitions would be only such as we could properly meet. I have told him the rent of the property as advertised would be £400, and this I think he would give if we would as is the case in most ready furnished houses, pay the Taxes, this I declined and he then named £350, himself paying all of them except property Tax.

            It seems to me that we ought not to lose this opportunity but make the best terms we can and if you are at liberty any time next week your presence here would be desirable as many points may have to be discussed and I will make an appointment with Mr. Leyland convenient to yourself. He has a family of four children and from what I hear must have ample means

            I have heard nothing from Mr. Green and therefore presume he has not been able to do anything for us, if you are in the same position would you to save time write and ask him to stay his hand awhile

Extract from letter from 27/8/1867 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall

            I had this morning a letter from Green & Son, a copy of which I send. I had previously written for information. The Col. Loftus referred to by them (of Walcot Hall, near Stamford) in the beginning of last year wrote to me asking for particulars of the letting which I furnished. In his answer on the 3rd March 1866 he said “The shooting, fishing and land must be better than I can suppose them to be, to be near worth £1,000 p.ann. I should have supposed the rent for the house, gardens, shooting and fishing would have been £300 p.ann. and the land extra according to its value”. He may perhaps think better of it now the terms are reduced.

Extract from letter from 7/8/1867 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall

            I have a short time since returned to Messrs Green the draft of the advertisement with a few alterations, no application for taking. I went through the house and found all in order and the place is looking very nice. I had a conversation with the housemaid and she seems to think she could not manage with a young woman as in all probability she could not control her and she would not feel inclined to remain long in so quiet a place, and I do not suppose the house maid could be induced to stay there single handed. Suppose we allow the establishment to remain as it is for another month and see if Mr. Green has any better success than ourselves.

Extract from letter 5/6/1867 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

No further application. The grounds are looking very well and the shrubs in full beauty.

Extract from letter from 25/5/1867 from Geo Whitley

The Hall – Speke

            You are, I think, quite right in declining Mr. Behrend’s offer for a short tenancy. I accidentally met Mr. Pender’s agent a few days since & opened a sort of negotiation with him and stated that we were prepared to modify our terms.

Extract from letter from 21/5/1867 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            I have this morning had an application for the occupation of the house for the months of June July & August with an undertaking to give it up on a very short notice if let to a permanent tenant. I enclose a note from the party (Mr. Behrand?) and shall be glad to have your opinion on the offer. I do not myself feel inclined to enter into the negotiation as he would have the benefit of all the summer months and we should have the house in all probability left on our hands for the winter.

            The contract with Laurie for Mr. Lee’s outbuildings is signed and I suppose he is now at work

Extract from letter from 9/5/1867 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

            I have had an application from a Capt. Herbert, who is with his regiment here, but I do not fancy it will come to anything. I think we may as well see whether another month may bring us better luck.

Extract from letter from 29/3/1867 from Geo Whitley

The Hall

From Garston I yesterday proceeded to the Hall and found all in order,

well ventilated and dry, some additional linen is wanted for general use. The grounds are looking very well & attractive, still however no Tenant offers. I will again advertise the place

Extract from letter 26/2/1867 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall

            I have a letter this morning from Mr. Pender’s agent as under:

                        “Speke Hall &c. We are directed by Mr.
                         Pender to inform you that he declines
                        making any advance on his former
                        offer of £400 per annum.”

            This was in answer to my letter to him saying we should be prepared to take £500. this matter is therefore ended

Extract from letter 18/2/1867 from Geo Whitle

Speke Hall

            The following is the proposition I made to Mr. Pender’s agent here.
           To enter 1 May next when rent to commence
           The following alterations will be made. Old
            kitchen turned into a Billiard room. Adjoinin
           scullery into a smoking room, closet adjoining
            into a water closet.
           To build a lodge on a moderate scale.
            Land as pointed out to be paid for in addition
            to rent of house &c at the usual farm rent.
            Rent of house grounds & shootings to be £550 p.ann.
           Gamekeeper’s cottage, if required, to be paid for in
            addition, the cottage adjoining it will be wanted
           by the lessors
            6 stall stable, Harness room and small room
            at back.   Coach house and   do 3 stall stable
            & loose box, to be included in the letting

and I have received the following answer

“Feb 18 1867

Dear Sir,

Speke Hall

            If you will refer to my letter to you of the 1st January last you will find that I on behalf of Mrs. Denison offered to you the rent of £400 per ann. for Speke Hall garden pleasure grounds stabling &c and Shootings. After this letter was received by you an interview took place at our office between Mr. Sprot and ourselves. At this meeting Mr. Sprot clearly agreed to accept the rent offered (X) provided Mrs. Denison agreed to pay the usual agricultural rent for any additional land she might require for cows &c.

The only question which as I understood Mr. Sprot reserved for further consideration were the conversion of a disused kitchen into a Billiard room and the erection of a lodge.

When you left with me on Friday the terms Mr. Sprot agreed to which contained an increase of rent I felt greatly surprised, I however  submitted them to Mr. Pender on behalf of Mrs. Denison.

I have this morning received a letter from Mr. Pender in which he most distinctly states that Mrs. Denison will not give more than the rent of £400

Unless therefore Mr. Sprot accepts this rent at once the whole negotiation will be at an end

                                                                        I am Dear Sir
                                                                         Yrs truly
                                                                           Thos. Avison
Geo. Whitley Esq.
(X)          I do not recollect that
£400 was agreed on – I
thought it was £500 G.W.

Will you have the goodness to give me your opinion on the above? I do not think we should take £400, if we are to lay out probably one years rent for alterations & lodge. Stockton, an assistant to the late keeper, is looking after the game and keeping it off trespassers, he has been long employed on the estate

Extract from letter 4/2/1867 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall

            I should have written earlier but expected to have heard from Mr. Pender, not having done so I am led to believe that he has been waiting to hear from me, his proposition was:

                                                To enter the beginning of May next,
                                              have the following additions made
This at a rough
                   old kitchen turned into a Billiard
Guess Mr. Shelmerdine      Room and the adjoining Scullery
thinks would cost                into a smoking room and closet into
£150                                     a water closet and lavatory.

                        House and shootings I stated would be £550 p.ann.
                     
                                             Butlers’ and Gamekeepers’ cottages to be
    
                  included in the letting
                       Also to be included.
                     6 Stall stable, Harness room & small room at back, Coach house & small room 3 Stall stable, Loose box, second coach
house

this is rather a serious catalogue of wants and I think we had better give Mr. Pender time to consider whether he will not be a little less exacting and as the spring advances the place will improve so much in appearance that we shall have a better chance of letting

The Organ

            Do you intend this to be sent to you? I enclose Mr. Van? Gruisen’s account and he says he shall be glad to have the Organ removed and must charge additional warehouse room. Shall I pay the bill?

The enclosed statement shews the state of the affairs up to the end of

December last. Did you wish to have a more detailed one?

Extract from letter 3/1/1867 from Geo Whitley

Speke Hall

            I have a definite offer at last from Mrs. Denison, as under

                        “We are authorized by Mrs. Denison to offer you as a rental for Speke Hall as at present furnished together with the shooting & a field sufficient for 2 or 3 Cows the sum of                           £400 per annum on a lease. We shall feel obliged by your submitting this proposal to Mr. Sprot your Co. Trustee Yours etc Avinson & Co (x)”          
          
                        (x) Mr. Pender’s Agents

            I think I should adhere to the sum of £450 for the house and shootings alone and not include a field as the giving up of that might disarrange the working of the Home Farm which is already small enough. What length of lease would you feel inclined to grant subject to a 12 months notice to quit as stated in Mr. Daunt’s lease. It is evident Mr. Pender does not intend to make himself liable for the rent. I am told Mrs. Denison has an income of £1,500 a year

Advert 24/5/1866

TO BE RE-LET

FURNISHED

IN CONSEQUENCE OF THE PRESENT TENANT GIVING UP POSSESSION

THE CAPITAL

MANSION- HOUSE

CALLED SPEKE HALL

Situated in the Township of Speke, about Seven Miles from Liverpool

WITH THE

COACHHOUSES, STABLES, AND OTHER OUTBUILDINGS

AND THE

GARDENS, PLEASURE GROUNDS, AND APPURTENANCES THERETO BELONGING

Together with the appropriate and

HANDSOME FURNITURE

NOW IN THE HOUSE

And the adjoining FARM, known as “The Home Farm”

And the Gamekeepers and other Cottages

            The whole of the property proposed to be let contains about 150 statute acres. Together, also, with THE SHOOTINGS over the Speke Estate, comprising about 2,414 acres, and the right of fishing in the river Mersey, which adjoins the Estate. There is also a seat in Garston Church appurtenant to the Estate, and an easy communication with Liverpool by rail and omnibus

            Speke Hall is one of the most ancient and picturesque timbered Mansions in England, in very good preservation, with an inner court, in which there are two venerable Yew Trees. The great hall is lofty with oak wainscot and ceiling. The principal drawing room is a fine specimen of the time, oak wainscoted, with curious oak carving over the mantelpiece. The bedrooms are numerous, wainscoted with oak, and all furnished in the same good taste as the rest of the house. The whole forms an interesting specimen of Old English domestic architecture, rarely to be met with at the present day

Immediate possession may be had

            Further particulars may be obtained from Mr. GEORGE WHITLEY,

 5, Clayton Square, Liverpool, to whom all offers for taking the property are to be addressed, but the owners do not bind themselves to accept the highest one

25 May 1866

Value of Speke for letting                  £
House and Garden                             550
Shooting                                             122
                                                            672

Mr. Daunt was to pay
£900